What are the key principles?
In an attempt to further narrow and ultimately close the attainment gap between children identified within specific groups (for example those in receipt of free school meals) and those not in an identified category the Government has allocated specific funding to support learners in specific areas of the curriculum.
Previously schools were in receipt of an additional £500 for each Year 7 pupil whose level of attainment was below the expected national average of at least a level 4 in reading and or math’s at the end of Key Stage 2. This additional funding was available to all state funded schools that have Year 7 students on their role. For the cohort who joined in 2016 the national benchmark of a Level 4 was removed and ‘Age Related Expectations’ relating to Maths; Reading and Writing were introduced. This has meant that no specific indicator of student attainment has been established other than knowing that not all students entered Y7 at the standardised score of 100. The DfE made the decision to provide schools with a similar amount of funding as in their previous year when the Level 4 score was in place.
Schools have a free choice regarding how this funding is spent, it is not ‘ring fenced’ within a school budget and can be directed where a school feels it will make the greatest impact to support those students who need additional support with their literacy and numeracy competency. To that end Ercall Wood Technology College has made the decision to direct the funding to programme’s which focus on these interventions during Year 7.
How is the money used at Ercall Wood Technology College?
This financial year 2016-2017 Ercall Wood has received £16 500 in Catch-up funding and this money has been used to solely support the identified learners within the Y7 cohort. We believe a focus on additional intervention programmes to support the targeted students will be most beneficial and to that end we have devised a range of interventions to suit the needs of the individuals. The programmes that have been developed include the following:
Each additional intervention session is in a group of no more than 4 students and their progress is monitored regularly by the member of staff supporting the group.
For those students who came in below Age Related Expectations in Y7 the above intervention programmes are available to support their in-class progress as well. The formation of a specific teaching set within English was also established. This group has high levels of additional teaching support with relatively small student numbers. The group is also taught by two members of staff both trained in Miskin. Specific TA’s have also been deployed to work with the group in other subject areas to provide a more consistent approach to supporting the students.
Impact of the Catch-Up Funding
The learners identified in Year 7 came to EWTC with low scaled scores in Reading and/or Maths. 28 students were identified in total. These students have individual “flight paths” based on national trajectories whilst considering their individuals needs as many of the students are also identified as SEND. Their progress is tracked from an initial Autumn assessment to an end point in the Summer term. Where students have made less than expected progress between the Autumn and Summer data gathering in English and Maths even with the additional interventions in Y7, there is additional targeted support that is being directed at supporting them in Y8.
In English, the identified students made on average a sub-grade of progress. 6 students made no progress despite intervention but 4 students made better than expected progress. In Maths, the identified students made on average 2 sub-grades of progress with only one pupil making no progress. 39% of the students identified made better progress than expected.
Intentions for Academic Year 2017-18
The current cohort of students who joined with low scaled scores in Reading and Maths that have been identified by us for intervention is 22. The progress achieved by these students will be monitored throughout the coming year and interventions altered to match required need. Additional TA hours have been required to meet the needs of the before and after school intervention sessions and this has been allocated from within the Catch-up funding.
The interventions rolled out last year are continuing and these are supported by TA and HLTA deployment as well as lead teachers from the Learning Support team.